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Webb On Anchoring Ban: "It needs to be based off facts and not...what certain people think the tradition of the game looks like."

A few of the highlights from Webb Simpson's press conference today at the World Challenge. He was a good sport about all of the anchoring ban questions. His attitude is pretty impressive in this sense:

Q.  Do you think, assuming there is going to be a ban on anchoring you would switch to next year, even though it wouldn't go into effect until '16?

WEBB SIMPSON:  Yeah, I would switch as soon as I felt ready, so the way the process has looked like already for me is playing rounds at Quail Hollow with my buddies, and then it's going to be playing proams.  I'm just going to take it one step at a time until my comfort level gets better and better.  If I feel ready by Hyundai, I'll be putting with a short putter, and if I don't feel ready for two years, I'll wait.  I'm just going to go when I feel most comfortable.


Q.  You've talked about the driver head and some other things being more negative in terms of impact on the game.  Have you expressed those views to anybody with the governing bodies, and if so, what kind of reaction did you get?

WEBB SIMPSON:  You know, it's a tricky situation for me because I know a lot of those guys well.  I know Mike very well, I know Jeff Hall very well, I know a lot of those guys, they're friends of mine.  And I think they've been great.  They've known that, hey, you're my friend, you'll be my friend no matter what, we'll continue the relationship, but it's okay to disagree.

It's an issue where you're going to have a lot of TOUR players over here and a lot over here.  But yeah, my argument the whole time is to change something that drastic, it needs to be based off facts and not so called what certain people think the tradition of the game looks like.  So that's why I've thrown out that nobody in the top 20 last year in strokes gained was using a belly putter or long putter.  This year I believe one person, I believe it's Carl Pettersson.

So that's the number one fact I've looked at to see, okay, is it really helping certain guys.  You look at how many guys are using a belly putter, long putter, and then you've got to look at other stuff.  You've got to look at the driver.  Long putter is nothing new.  I saw a highlight the other day, some guy in the early '80s was using a long putter.  I think it's becoming more popular obviously, but yeah, in 1985 if you drive it 280 you'd be the longest guy on TOUR; now if you drive it 280 you'd be the shortest guy on TOUR.  I think there's a lot of other things:  Golf ball, hybrids, there's a lot of other things that have caused bigger impacts on the game than a belly putter.  That's my stance on it.

But look, I'm not going to be one of those guys that says this is a terrible decision.  I'm just saying to make a change this big, show me the facts, and hey, they're the governing body, so we'll see what happens.

We'll find out tomorrow!

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Reader Comments (9)

It's not about someone who uses an anchored putter being in the Top 20 in the putting stats or not – it's about where they would be if they were using a standard putter. It's also not about the impact the anchored putter has on the game – it's about what type of action constitutes a stroke, and at what point does a certain type of club take an element of skill out of the game. By taking the wrists out of the stroke, the anchored putter eliminates a portion of the skill element from the putting stroke.

I agree that the USGA and the R&A should have taken action on this long ago, but better late than never.
11.27.2012 | Unregistered CommenterWill o'the Glen
All the issues aside about it improving poor putters skills, and the new young players are STARTING with it, and stats at yada yada.....

the issue of how it looks matters, as did the number of clubs which was unlimited until Bobby Jones decided he didn't like the way it looked, a guy with 30 clubs in his bag....and so lump it if Watson or Whomever didn't like its look- I don't like its look either, and I hope the ban the damn things, or the anchoring BS because- it is not a stroke.
11.27.2012 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
<< I hope the ban the damn things, or the anchoring BS because- it is not a stroke. >>

Typing a little too fast, Diggie?? :-)

So that's it... the reason for the possible ban is NOT that the entire PGA Tour is putting lights out with long putters, it's not that the "short" putter is going the way of the dodo bird (and the polar bear,) it's not that players are winning majors by one-putting the last 17 greens with an anchored putter -- it will be banned because it's (let me get this right) NOT an actual Golf Stroke. Okay, glad I'm clear on that.

Here's my problem. The so-called "advantage" (if anybody is claiming such) of the long/anchored putter should be perhaps Issue Number Nine on the USGA's list of Major Concerns. How about if these bluecoats start to focus on the issues that are Actually Having An Impact On The Game?

1) Hot golf balls

2) Already-illegal spring-faced drivers

3) Slow play

4) Cost of golf

5) Not enough babes in short-shorts

Are we purists (well, YOU purists, anyway) about to rejoice that the dreaded and pervasive anchored putter is about to take a hike? To me, the long putter is nothing more than a Topic of Conversation: it has nothing, absolutely zero, with the health of the game. So here's the mighty USGA about to TAKE A STAND.... and unfortunately, it's decided that cracking down on a total NON-problem is where they will now wield their omnipotent power. First those deadly grooves and now the long putter. Ah... justice is served.

What's next, bluecoats....going to finally put an end to those state-of-the art lawnmowers that help create perfect lies and smoother greens than Bobby Jones ever imagined? Good on ya!
11.27.2012 | Unregistered Commenterbenseattle
I hope anchoring is banned.

What I don't understand is when people try to refocus the issue on golfs other problems. "Hey I'll make the argument that the ball goes to far and that driver heads are too big! why are they concentrating ALL their efforts on the putter...etc...etc.."

Ever hear of tackling one issue at a time?
11.27.2012 | Unregistered CommenterMatt A
The problem is the ball and long game clubs have made the game too easy, thus making the game a putting contest most weeks, with the best putters usually taking the majority if top ten places.
Roll back equipment and take emphasis away from putting again.
11.28.2012 | Unregistered CommenterMalcolm

Doggone Ben, that's pretty good typing for me. As I sit here at 3 in the morninf, I'll try to do better, but I'm fading fast.

While I did a very oor job of making my point, your post has given me a secnd cchance.

The point was/is , that yes, YES, some rules are a result of high steppers in the USGA getting a result, a rule, simply because- they don't lke the way it example of Jones and the club limit as an example.

I don't like the way the anchoring looks, it is not a stroke, especially with the broomstick...Adam Scott has the most pendulum swing of all...

Glad the USGA appreciates my opinion. ;).
11.28.2012 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
<< Ever hear of tackling one issue at a time? >>

Ever hear of tackling the Most Important issue FIRST?
11.28.2012 | Unregistered Commenterbenseattle
@ Benseattle. Dealing with simpler issues first is a way of setting precedent for other critical issues.
11.28.2012 | Unregistered CommenterMatt A
"taking the wrists out of the stroke" is complete BS. Kuchar's approved anchoring of the putter against the forearm takes out the wrists. The approved claw method takes out the wrists. Left hand low with them forearm and elbow anchored against the body takes out the wrists. Shall I go on?
11.30.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDTF

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